• Incoming Student FAQ

    How do I audition for CU Orchestras?

    Click this link to visit our Auditions page and scroll all the way down to the Audition Guide. If you can't find the answer to your questions, don't hesitate to reach out to us!


    How do orchestra credits work?

    CSO is 1 credit, while CCO is 1-2 credits. You can earn an extra credit through CCO by doing written assignments, such as concert evaluations. These written assignments are not included within the CSO curriculum; however, similar written assignments have been used as makeup assignments for absences.
    Credits earned by enrolling in orchestra as a class do count towards your academic credit limit. They also count towards the performance credit for a music major or minor!

    What does being an orchestra student look like?

    You'll attend two rehearsals per week: Mon/Wed for CCO, Tues/Thurs for CSO. Location will vary according to the ensemble: Lincoln Hall, Barnes and Bailey Hall. You'll perform in ~two concerts held in Bailey Hall per semester, which also involves a couple dress rehearsals. Concert attire is all black with a splash of red for Cornell, like a tie or a headband.
    Every two years, the ensembles go on an international tour during winter break. We went to Taiwan in 2019! Unfortunately, the pandemic has placed a hold on these events, and the prospect of having an international tour this year (21-22) is still up in the air. We'll keep you posted about it.
    More detailed information regarding repertoire, rehearsal schedule, and more will be available in the class syllabi.

    Where can I go to practice?

    Lincoln Hall offers several practice rooms for your use! This link goes in-depth about the practice rooms.
    There are also a few pianos and practice rooms located around some dorms, such as JAM on North Campus.

    Where can I store my instrument?

    You can rent a locker in the basement of Lincoln Hall. Lincoln offers three different sizes of lockers: small (fits smaller instruments, like violins), medium (fits instruments like horns), and large (fits taller instruments, like cellos, and can be shared between two students). You can contact the Lincoln Hall front office to get on the locker rental waiting list, or take a look at the informational flyers that will be posted up and around the lockers towards the beginning of the semester. There is a small rental fee of $15 to rent a locker.
    Note that these lockers are limited and are often offered first to students enrolled in Music credits. Click this link for more information.

    Are there any other music opportunities at Cornell?

    Yes! You can join a private studio with your instrument professor. You can reach out to these professors towards the beginning of the semester. If you audition for orchestra, you'll likely meet your instrument professor during your audition, who will be one of your audition judges. Some professors also send out studio audition and information to emails gathered from the orchestra audition form, so keep an eye out for that.
    The Music department holds an annual concerto competition in December, and the winner of the competition performs with CSO in a spring semester concert! More information about this will be released shortly on this page.
    The Music department also offers a chamber music program, which is coordinated by faculty members Juliana Pepinsky. This program involves a separate audition -- reach out to either of these coordinators for more information. You can join the program with a pre-existing or intended ensemble with your friends, or you'll be assigned to a chamber ensemble based on your ability and instrument.

    I still have more questions!

    Feel free to reach out to our conductor, Michelle Di Russo, or any of the board members. We'd be happy to help you!